March 1, 2012, 10:46 AM

An ad platform aims to help retailers find Facebook friends

GraphScience employs demographic data to present Facebook ads to the right consumers.

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Retailers are scrambling to find ways to make their Facebook ads more profitable and improve the likelihood a Facebook user will Like their pages or click on an ad to buy a product. GraphScience Inc. says it has a way to improve those odds by using huge volumes of data matched against Facebook profiles. The ad platform company launched its service this week.

Here’s how the system works. A retailer wants to get its ads to appear on the Facebook user pages of those most likely to Like the retailer. To do that, GraphScience takes the retailer’s customer demographic information, which it uses to target ads on Facebook. That includes consumers’ ages, education levels, interests and locations. The ads are generally the social network’s premium ads that appear on the right side of a user’s Facebook page when he logs on to Facebook.com.

GraphScience also creates the ads. For example, a retailer might have 10 images and 10 pieces of ad copy that can be used in any combination across Facebook, says Raymond Rouf, GraphScience CEO and founder. GraphScience will test various combinations of image and copy with different customer segments to see which spur consumers to interact with the ad.

Jewelry e-retailer Ice.com Inc.’s use of GraphScience has made it easier for the retailer to find the right consumers on Facebook, says Dave Haber, Ice.com senior director of marketing communications and social media. “We have seen constant improvement in the cost of fan and customer acquisition through the optimization of Facebook advertising with GraphScience,” Haber says. Ice.com is No. 242 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Retailers that use the service can use GraphScience’s online portal to view how well the Facebook ads are working by measuring key metrics such as the number of orders and revenue.

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